It happens each and every year, be it on the professional or collegiate sports scene.
Certain teams come out of nowhere and get hot, leading fans nationwide (sometimes in other countries too) to essentially jump on the bandwagon.
While those riding the bandwagon are often accused of not being loyal to those teams of choice, others will tell you they’ve been fans for many years. No matter which version is in fact true, it does make for entertaining sports chatter.
That said which professional and collegiate teams have emerged as the prime bandwagon teams for the 2016-17 sports seasons?
While some are rather obvious choices, some others may surprise you a little bit.
At the end of the day, expect there to be much debate as to which fans truly belong with which teams.
Your Bandwagon Winners to Date
As 2016 winds down, here are five teams (pro and college) that have already loaded up or likely will be with bushels full of “new” fans:
- Chicago Cubs – There is no doubt that there are countless diehard Cubbies’ fans all over the nation. That said the team’s success in 2016 has led to a bandwagon that may ultimately get a flat tire or two from all the weight it is pulling. Fans wearing team jerseys backing those perennial lovable losers can be found on each coast and everywhere in between. As the Cubs looked to end a more than 100-year experience of not having won the World Series, they will undoubtedly add legions of fans win or lose;
- New England Patriots – Unlike the Cubs, the Patriots have been a team with a winning consistency over the last several decades. As a result, they have added fans not only in the U.S., but around the world. With Tom Brady back from a four-game suspension, the team shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, New England is one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl this season. With such success come many more fans sporting the jerseys representing New England.
Will Durant Mean a Title for Golden State?
- Golden State Warriors – The NBA bandwagon in the Bay Area was already filled two years ago as the Warriors chased their first NBA title since the mid-1970s. Having secured that championship two seasons ago, Golden State set an NBA record last season with wins in the regular season. Unfortunately for the Warriors and their fans, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers ended the hopes of back-to-back titles last June. With superstar Kevin Durant (formerly of Oklahoma City) now added to the mix, there are more Golden State fans popping up here and around the world;
- Alabama Crimson Tide – While there are thousands and thousands of diehard Alabama Crimson Tide football fans around the country, that bandwagon has grown in leaps and bounds too. Having won four national titles in the last seven years, the Tide has rolled to legions of new fans. With success not seen like that in recent times, Alabama normally gets thousands of fans at away games, some of whom couldn’t have even told you why the school has an elephant mascot. If the Tide continues rolling for the foreseeable future, expect the bandwagon to need an elephant or two to carry it around;
- Villanova Wildcats – Even though the college basketball season does not officially tip-off until later in November, you can all but guarantee a spike in Villanova fans nationwide. After going all the way through March Madness to capture their second-ever men’s hoops title last spring, the Wildcats have grown in popularity outside Philadelphia. As a result, you can look for more “fans” wearing the blue and white this hoops season. When an underdog team wins a title on a buzzer-beater, it undoubtedly adds new members to the bandwagon.
Undoubtedly, sports makes for not only exciting action on the playing surface of choice, but also for great conversation.